Athletics Kenya (AK) and Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), in partnership with Elgeyo Marakwet county government organized an anti-doping workshop aimed at promoting clean sports.
The workshop was attended by at least 300 athletes at Iten Africa Inland Church (AIC) premises and attended by AK President Rtd. Gen Jack Tuwei, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) Chief Executive Officer Brett Clothier, and AK regional Director Barnaba Korir.
Gen. Tuwei explained that the sensitization exercise was aimed to protect the integrity of sports against banned performance-enhancing drugs that have threatened athletes’ careers.
He revealed that going forward, the agency would carry out anti-doping tests at camps, homes, and during the athletes’ daily activities. Tuwei emphasized that all athletes should take utmost care of themselves and consult before consuming any prescribed substances to avoid doping.
AK President encouraged the athletes to protect the image of Iten Town, an internationally recognized destination for sports.
The CEO of the Athletics Integrity Unit Mr. Brett Clothier noted that Kenya has a huge doping problem revealing that 40 per cent of doping issues were from Kenya.
Clothier said that the national government has pledged 25 million dollars spread at the amount of 5 million dollars each year for the next five years to help in eradicating the vice.
He added that they would craft strategies and involve all relevant stakeholders to weed out culprits who mess around with sports, including the police.
Purity Koima, (CECM) for Sports, Youth Affairs, Culture, Children, and Social Services appreciated the stakeholders for joining the county government in fighting against doping in the region.
She emphasized that every stakeholder in the athletics field should be at the forefront of protecting the reputation of the county. The fight against doping should be a joint approach with all relevant stakeholders given specific roles to undertake to eliminate this vice.
Coaches practicing in the county must also be licensed, and every international athlete should have a permit of service.
All the training camps and their managers should also be registered by relevant authorities, said Koima.
Athletes who addressed the meeting lauded the initiative undertaken by athletics Kenya to eradicate this menace in the country.
“We appreciate the measures underlined by AK and AIU to curb the menace. We need much sensitization about the drugs and prevention measures,” said Asbel Kiprop, former 1500m world record holder.
The workshop was a great initiative to promote clean sports in the region and enhance the integrity of sports and it’s hoped that such workshops will be organized more frequently to sensitize athletes and stakeholders about the dangers of doping.
By Rennish Okong’o